What are the rules for using the “CPA” designation?

by Michael D. Colgan, CAE | May 07, 2018
askacpaicon I am a CPA licensed in Pennsylvania. I am current on my CPE, hold a current license, and I'm a member of the PICPA and AICPA. What are the rules for using the CPA designation while in private practice (for instance, my bio on my company's website)?

As long as you have a current license to practice public accounting in Pennsylvania, there is no restriction on using the CPA designation in connection with your industry position. I would only caution that you use it with your current title or position so the public is not confused as to whether you are practicing public accounting. 
In the future, if you allow your active license to go on inactive status (by not completing the CPE requirement), you may still use your CPA designation in industry in connection with your current title or position, but you must use the word “inactive” next to the designation.

Answered By: Michael D. Colgan, CAE, is CEO and executive director of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

***Answer originally published Jan. 1, 2015. 
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